#childsafety | Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: July 12-13

The Chronicle began covering the coronavirus crisis before the first cases were reported in the Bay Area and a pandemic was declared. We reorganized the newsroom to dedicate nearly every resource to stories focusing on the health and economic disasters. Every day we have published live updates to reflect the most critical local, national and global updates on COVID-19, and this news is free of charge in an effort to keep our community safe and informed.

• Read the previous batch of updates from July 10-11.

• See the full timeline.

Updates from Monday, July 13:

10:00 p.m. Orange County leaders vote to reopen schools: The Orange County Board of Education voted Monday night to allow schools to reopen next month for in-person instruction without requiring masks or social distancing. The board’s vote was 4-1, according to local media reports. Individual schools in the county, however, are not bound to the decision and can develop their own reopening plans.

6:08 p.m. Tenth inmate dies at San Quentin: Ten inmates have died as a result of a coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison as of Monday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Officials did not immediately release information about the latest death. Two inmates died on Saturday, marking the eighth and ninth deaths, the department said Sunday. There were 1,925 total cases, including 1,437 that were active, among the Marin County prison’s inmate population Monday.

6:04 p.m. Bay Area counties saw weekend uptick in cases: There were 144 new coronavirus cases and three additional COVID-19 deaths reported over the weekend in Solano County, according to local health data collected by The Chronicle. That county now has a total of 2,219 cases and 31 deaths. Meanwhile in Napa County, health officials reported 41 new cases of the coronavirus since the county’s last update on Friday, bringing the total to 518. Marin County reported a single-day increase of 29 new cases and one new death on Monday, bringing totals there to 3,731 cases and 33 deaths.

5:19 p.m. California hospitalizations climb to new high: After a slight dip Sunday, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in California again hit an all-time high. There are now 6,485 patients after an additional 163 were reported Monday by state health officials. Of those, 1,833 people are in intensive care units. An additional 1,410 patients have a suspected case of COVID-19.

5:05 p.m. Dr. Fauci says California should ‘pull back’: In a conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci hosted by Stanford Medicine, the White House Coronavirus Task Force member said the novel coronavirus is a “worst nightmare.” The infectious disease expert said some U.S. states are seeing surges because the country never shut down entirely. But face masks, physical distancing and avoiding crowds are simple strategies that “can turn it around,” he said. “You don’t necessarily need to shut down again, but pull back a bit and then proceed in a very prudent way,” he said.

4:36 p.m. Santa Clara County reopening proves short-lived: After waiting months, South Bay hair and nail salons and gyms got permission to reopen Monday. But the reprieve was ended by new state orders to close such businesses in counties seeing a surge in cases — a group that will soon include Santa Clara County, as it returns to the state watch list. The reopened businesses must close Wednesday after two days in business.

3:24 p.m. South Bay barbershops, nail salons reopen: Even as California imposed restrictions on similar businesses in much of the state, hair and nail salons, gyms and other personal-service establishments reopened as planned in Santa Clara County. Hairstylists enthusiastically greeted customers after months of closures.

3:20 p.m. Orange County plan calls for schools to reopen for in-person learning without face coverings or social distancing: The Southern California county’s Board of Education shared recommendations for reopening schools ahead of its meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, stating that social distancing among students is “not necessary” and wearing masks will not be required and “may even be harmful.” The guidelines did not recommend reducing classroom capacity. “Because of the established link between social-distancing and child harm, we cannot support extraordinary efforts aimed at social-distancing at school,” the board said.

2:33 p.m. Philz cutting workers: Philz Coffee will lay off over 180 of its workers, mostly in the Bay Area, due to the economic ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. The San Francisco coffee roaster will primarily cut ties with baristas and team leads across the region and the state, according to a notice filed with the state’s Employment Development Department.

2:04 p.m. State’s indoor dining ban hits San Mateo County restaurants: San Mateo was the only county left in the Bay Area to allow indoor dining in restaurants when Gov. Newsom announced the ban on indoor dining statewide. The owner of Val’s Restaurant & Lounge in Daly City says it could mean the end of his business. Read the story here.

1:29 p.m. Hospitalizations rise to new high in Bay Area: The number of COVID-19 patients in Bay Area hospitals increased to an all-time high of 594, according to state data released Monday. The biggest jumps were reported in Alameda County, where six new patients were hospitalized for a total of 150, and Santa Clara County, where eight more patients brought the total to 129. The new increase marks the eighth consecutive day the number of hospitalizations in the Bay Area has grown.

1:17 Wall Street rally fizzles: A rally in Big Tech that drove the S&P 500 into positive territory for the first time since early June sputtered out. The Nasdaq swung from nearly a 2% gain to a decline of about 2.1% at about 10,390.

12:44 p.m. Alameda County to be added to state watch list: Alameda County will be added to a list of counties the state is monitoring in the next day or two due to high rate of new infections, positive tests or increasing hospitalizations, Gov. Newsom said. County officials said Sunday they had already been added to the list due to increased case rates including “increased interpersonal interactions without face coverings and physical distancing, and ongoing transmission among health care workers.”

12:28 p.m. Young people lead surge in cases: Coronavirus infections among people in California age 18-34 increased 92% in the two-week period ending Saturday, according to state data analyzed by retired UC epidemiologist Dr. George Lemp. There were 43,806 new cases in that age group from June 28 through July 11, compared with 22,764 in the previous two-week period (June 14-27). Overall, cases increased 76% in the state compared with the previous two weeks. Read about the surge in youth cases here. And about why cases are rising — but deaths are not — here.

12:21 p.m. Virus not going away, Newsom warns: Gov. Newsom said Monday the threat of the coronavirus is not going away and anyone holding on to the hope that warm weather would help must remain vigilant about the dangers of the virus as the rate of people testing positive remained above 7%. Newsom said data suggests not everyone is practicing “common sense” and encouraged people to gather outside. Twenty-three people died in the last day due to the virus, Newsom said, calling it a “reminder” of the disease’s deadliness. “Not only are we seeing people transmit this disease, but we are also continuing to see lives lost,” Newsom said. during a news conference. Read the story here.

12:19 p.m. Newsom announces 7.4% positive test rate: The rate of positive coronavirus tests statewide has increased to 7.4%, a 21% increase over the just past two weeks, Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference Monday. For several months, the rate held steady around 4.9%, but has spiked in the past month. Read the story here.

12:20 p.m. Schools in L.A., San Diego won’t reopen amid surge: Schools in Los Angeles and San Diego counties will not reopen for in-person learning in August due to the recent coronavirus surge in both areas, school officials announced Monday. L.A. and San Diego are the two biggest school districts in the state, together enrolling over 825,000 students, and are the largest in the country to announce a fully online fall semester. In announcing their decisions, Los Angeles County school officials cited recent daily infection records set countywide, and San Diego County school officials cited “skyrocketing infections” throughout the area.

12:14 p.m. Thirty counties ordered to close indoor operations: Thirty counties throughout California, including Contra Costa, Solano and Sonoma in the Bay Area were ordered to close fitness centers, places of worship, offices for non-critical sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops as well as malls, Gov. Gavin Newsom said. Read the story here.

12:05 p.m. Newsom tightens stay at home order: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that all counties in the state must close indoor operations including restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment. zoos, museums and bars.

11:20: DMV extends driver’s licenses for seniors 70-plus: The California Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically extend for one year noncommercial driver’s licenses for anyone who is 70 and has an expiration date between March 1 and December 31, the agency said Monday. This postpones the requirement for this high-risk population to visit a DMV office to get their license renewed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

11:09: Vacaville cancels winter tree-lighting ceremony: Vacaville city officials canceled its December “Merriment on Main” tree-lighting ceremony and festival due to coronavirus concerns, according to a Monday report from the Vacaville Reporter. This is the first cancellation in the 37-year history of the event, which typically attracts up to 15,000 attendees.

10:40 a.m. NBA star Russell Westbrook tests positive: Former MVP Russell Westbrook, a nine-time all star who now plays for the Houston Rockets, tested positive for the coronavirus, he said in an Instagram post. He said the infection was confirmed before the Rockets boarded a flight to Orlando for the league’s restart, and he is quarantining at home.

8:51 a.m. Fleet Week canceled: San Francisco’s annual Fleet Week has been canceled, organizers recently said. Tickets for the 2020 show will be honored at next year’s event.

8:42 a.m. Nearly 20 states sue Trump over student visa rule: Attorney generals for 18 states, from Massachusetts to New Mexico, on Monday morning filed a lawsuit against President Trump to halt a new federal visa rule that threatens to force out thousands of foreign students studying at colleges in the United States. The lawsuit comes less than a week after California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a similar suit seeking to stop the mandate, which said that foreign students attending all classes virtually may not remain in the country. Maura Healey, attorney general for Massachusetts, where the suit was filed, said in a statement, “The Trump Administration didn’t even attempt to explain the basis for this senseless rule, which forces schools to choose between keeping their international students enrolled and protecting the health and safety of their campuses.”

8:21 a.m. Post-pandemic San Francisco to become a car-free utopia? Activists have been trying for decades — mostly in vain — to make San Francisco more friendly to bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit. On the Fifth & Mission podcast, Peter Hartlaub talks about his piece in The Chronicle’s new section, The Throughline, about how coronavirus has given the city an opportunity to transform itself into one that serves people, not cars. Click here to listen.

7:30 a.m. Stocks shrug off rising cases: Investors appeared to ignore reports of record coronavirus cases in some U.S. states, instead focusing on upcoming earning reports. Apple. Facebook, Alphabet and Tesla led the markets.

7:02 a.m. Business blooms for Bay Area plant shops amid pandemic: Stuck in their homes, houseplants have become a hot item for Bay Area residents. The explosion in demand has cleared shelves across the region, leaving many shops scrambling to restock. Read the full story by Anna Kramer.

6:56 a.m. Why a coronavirus vaccine won’t end the pandemic by itself: While many parts of public life, from crowded stadiums to San Francisco’s beloved cable cars, are on hold until the threat posed by the virus abates, a vaccine alone will likely not allow normal life to resume. And even if scientists find a vaccine that works and is safe, it may take a long time to reach everyone who needs it. But there are drugs that could help save lives as a vaccine is developed. Read the full story by J.D. Morris.

6:34 a.m. Young people who vape at higher risk of serious complications, UCSF study finds: One-third of young people across the country may be at risk of getting seriously sick with COVID-19, especially if they smoke or vape, according to a UCSF study published Monday in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Read the full story by Mallory Moench.

6:15 a.m. Global case count approaches 13 million: The total number of people infected with the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic reached 12,934,317 by Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University. The death toll now stands at 569,967, while more than 7.1 million people have recovered.

Updates from Sunday, July 12:

8:42 p.m. Bay Area hospitalizations hit another record: The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the nine-county Bay Area hit 578 on Saturday, according to the latest state figures. That’s another record high, up from 567 a day earlier. The biggest jump was in Alameda County, where hospitalizations rose from 137 on Friday to 144 on Saturday.

5:52 p.m. Thirty-five infections at Alameda County Sheriff’s Office: The 25-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who is on a ventilator, shown in a tweet Sunday from the department, is one of 35 people in the 1,000-person sheriff’s office who have tested positive for the coronavirus. “It’s such a helpless situation — he’s in a very critical stage,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Three employees have really “struggled” with the virus, Kelly said, and the condition of the officer in the tweet is by far the worse. Said Kelly: “There’s nothing we can do, just put love and prayers in the air.”

4:36 p.m. Sonoma County closes indoor businesses: Sonoma County, under orders from state health officials, will close indoor operations of bars, restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and entertainment centers, zoos and musuems, effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday, to slow spread of the coronavirus, the county announced Sunday. The restrictions will last at least until at least Aug. 2. The county was added to the state’s watch list on Friday due to increased hospitalization and rising case numbers. Outdoor activities that can continue include wineries and tasting rooms, dining, and bars that serve food.

4:15 p.m. Lag in test results hinders fight against virus: Coronavirus test results are taking so long to come back across the U.S. — more than a week in some states — that experts say they are often useless to efforts to control COVID-19, the Washington Post reports. Sun Belt outbreaks have strained labs beyond capacity, causing shortages of swabs and equipment as far away as New York. Turnarounds like South Korea’s one-day results seem impossibly out of reach in the U.S. because of a lack of federal coordination, supply shortages and surging demand as state outbreaks spiral out of control.

3:56 p.m. Powerful image shows plight of stricken East Bay deputy: The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday asked for prayers and support for a deputy stricken with COVID-19. On Twitter, the department posted a hospital-setting photo of a hand with an IV tube attached and a gloved hand grasping it. The post said, “This is the hand of one of our senior deputy sheriff’s in critical condition in ICU with COVID-19. He’s fighting so hard to survive. If you believe in prayer or the power of love and positive energy please send it to him and his family.”

3:48 p.m. South Africa bans booze sales to reduce hospital crowding: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Sunday the country will return to a ban of the sales of alcohol immediately to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds to treat COVID-19 patients. With a surging hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, South Africa is also reinstating a night curfew to reduce traffic accidents and is requiring face masks in public.

3:44 p.m. Band apologizes for concert without masks: Metal band Great White has apologized for performing at an outdoor North Dakota concert where the crowd didn’t wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic. The band drew criticism on social media after the performance Thursday night. The band in a statement Saturday said that in hindsight, “We would like to apologize to those who disagreed with our decision to fulfill our contractual agreement. The Promoter and staff were nothing but professional and assured us of the safety precautions,”

3:36 p.m. Dengue fever strides hindered by coronavirus response: Restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus, such as curtailing activities that affected services like trash collection, have ended up hampering efforts against seasonal outbreaks of dengue, a painful and incurable, mosquito-borne disease, the Associated Press reports. Dengue cases are likely to rise soon with the start of seasonal rains in Latin American countries and India and Pakistan.

3:10 p.m. Pelosi scolds Trump for ‘messing with’ children’s health: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday accused President Trump of “messing with” children’s health and said federal guidelines cautioning on reopening schools during pandemic should be mandatory. The San Francisco Democrat referenced the CDC guidelines that highlight the health risks of reopening schools. “Going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If there are CDC guidelines, they should be requirements.” Trump has threatened to financially punish school districts that don’t open for in-person teaching.

2:54 p.m. Week’s average daily new cases in state soars above 8,000: California’s seven-day average of new coronavirus cases per day rose to 8,664 over the past week, the state Department of Public Health said Sunday. The average was dramatically higher than the previous week’s daily average of 6,987 cases. The Chronicle’s data, compiled from each of the state’s 58 counties, showed total California cases to date numbered 321,209 as of Sunday afternoon, with 7,033 deaths.

2:46 p.m. Infections jump in South Bay: Santa Clara County reported another 315 coronavirus cases Sunday, a figure that reflects some reporting delays in the past few days, the county said. The county’s total cases to date stands at 6,298, The Chronicle’s tracking shows.

2:38 p.m. San Quentin has 1,469 active cases: San Quentin State Prison reported it has 1,469 inmates with active coronavirus cases, 695 of them new over the past 14 days, as the Marin County facility continues to battle the state prison system’s biggest outbreak. Prison officials report the facility has seen 1,900 cases to date, and that 28 prisoners afflicted with the virus were released. The prison has reported nine deaths from COVID-19.

2:05 p.m. Contra Costa County cases rise: Contra Costa County reported another 56 coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing its total cases so far to 4,661. The latest daily increase was notably less than the triple-digit daily hikes the county has seen this month. The county reported one more person has died from COVID-19, bringing its death toll to 90 so far.

1:47 p.m. Political fallout goes against Trump on virus response: Former Vice President Joe Biden has built a five-point lead over President Trump in the usually reliably red state of Texas amid mounting unease over Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll finds. Biden had 46% support to Trump’s 41%. If the election were today, the outcome could rest with the 14% of voters who were undecided or named someone else. Democrats have increasingly fantasized about turning Texas blue at some point as demographics shift.

1:29 p.m. California hospitalizations see 1-day drop: The number of Californians hospitalized with COVID-19 stood at 6,322 on Saturday, the state’s health data shows, a slight dip from the previous day and the first daily drop since June 18. The number of hospitalizations capped out at 6,357 a day earlier after climbing steadily day by day from 3,428 some 3½ weeks ago. The number of patients in intensive care, reflecting the most serious cases, numbered 1,806 as of Saturday.

12:59 p.m. Marin County case count continues up: Marin County reported another 11 cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing its total to date to 3,642, including infections from the outbreak at San Quentin State Prison.

12:37 p.m. Alameda County added to state watch list: California health officials have added Alameda County to the state watch list due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, leaving only two Bay Area Counties — San Francisco and San Mateo — not under the state’s special monitoring. The Alameda County coronavirus increase is linked to residents’ interactions without face coverings or social distancing, as well as “ongoing transmission among health care workers, within households, in frontline workplace settings, and in skilled nursing and other congregate living facilities,” the state health department’s website says. Alameda County had paused its reopening on June 29, but said it would seek permission from the state this week for more flexibility to move ahead with lower risk reopening steps.

11:59 a.m. Santa Clara Unified schools will resume with distance learning only: The Santa Clara Unified School District announced its schools will not return for in-person instruction for the fall term, and students will begin the school year with distance learning. “Out of concern for the health, safety, and well being of our students, staff, and community, all students will start the school year in distance learning” the district’s announcement said. The district includes schools in some neighborhoods of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, San Jose and Cupertino. Read the story here.

11:52 a.m. At least five dozen infected at US Marine bases in Japan: At least 60 people on two U.S. Marine bases on the Japanese island of Okinawa have been infected with the coronavirus, Marine officials said. A spokesman said Saturday that “soft shelter-in-place orders” were in place at Camp Hansen and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, with only essential personnel allowed to enter and leave. In one month, cases in the U.S. military have more than doubled, according to Pentagon data. The Chronicle has reported extensively on the outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its former captain who brought the tragedy to light.

11:41 a.m. Questions answered about homelessness and the pandemic: The coronavirus pandemic and the economic ruin it wreaked have amplified the existing challenges of homelessness and created new ones. Many vexing questions surround the intersection of these two crises. The Chronicle’s Kevin Fagan provides answers to many of them here.

11:31 a.m. Sacramento area cases continue up: Sacramento County added another 150 new cases of the coronavirus to its tally as of Sunday morning, continuing its triple-digit daily increases for a total of 5,489 cases to date. Sunday brought two more deaths in the county, bringing its total number of dead in the coronavirus pandemic up to 83.

10:53 a.m. Fauci sidelined by Trump: As President Trump has strayed from the advice of many government scientists and public health experts, the White House has moved to sideline Dr. Anthony Fauci, scuttled some of his planned TV appearances and largely kept him out of the Oval Office for more than a month even as coronavirus infections surge across the country, the Washington Post reports. The 79-year-old scientist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases “is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes,” Trump has said.

10:17 a.m. GOP convention now in doubt: After months of insisting that the Republican National Convention go on in August despite the pandemic, President Trump is slowly coming to accept it will not be the four-night infomercial for his reelection that he had anticipated, the Associated Press reports. After a venue change, spiking coronavirus cases and a sharp recession, Trump aides and allies are increasingly questioning whether it’s worth the trouble, and some are advocating that the convention be scrapped altogether.

10:12 a.m. Too many uncertainties for blanket reopening of schools: Public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening of schools could drive infection and death rates even higher, the Associated Press reports. They urge a more cautious approach, as many Bay Area and California school districts are pursuing. But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos insisted Sunday that kids can safely return to the classroom. “There’s nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous,” she said on “Fox News Sunday.”

9:59 a.m. Education secretary doubles down on punishing schools: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sunday pressed President Trump’s threat to withhold federal funding from schools that don’t have in-person instruction in the fall. In a Fox News interview, Chris Wallace pointed out that Congress enacted the money mostly to help disadvantaged kids, and asked if it wouldn’t be preferable to help schools with safety measures so they could open. DeVos replied: “American investment in education is a promise to students and their families. If schools aren’t going to reopen and not fulfill that promise, they shouldn’t get the funds.” Asked what authority Trump had to withhold money without congressional approval, DeVos said, “We’re looking at all the options.”

9:46 a.m. New US leader, Florida overtakes NY daily record: Florida shattered previous records for any state’s biggest single-day recording of new coronavirus infections on Sunday, announcing 15,299 cases added to its constantly-rising total. That outpaced New York’s previous daily record by more than 3,000, and the record came as Disney World Resort officially reopened its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

9:24 a.m. How can we use this moment to reshape Bay Area for the better?: The Chronicle is exploring what’s possible for a post-pandemic Bay Area of the not-too-distant future — what life will be like once we get past the coronavirus and how the George Floyd protests may impact equality. The first of the Throughline series looks at a new vision for San Francisco — from the development of micro-neighborhoods in empty office towers to 12 steps towards the dream of a car-free city. Read the details at sfchronicle.com/throughline.

9:17 a.m. Hardly a ‘great equalizer,’ pandemic hits poor hardest: The coronavirus has grown far more quickly in low-income neighborhoods where many people couldn’t work from home and where early access to testing and resources was sparse, a Chronicle analysis of Alameda County finds. Infection rates are nearly five times higher in neighborhoods like Oakland’s Fruitvale than in the wealthiest suburbs, as coronavirus cases explode in lower-income areas across the Bay Area and the country.

9 a.m. Surgeon General says US can control pandemic in a few weeks: U.S. Surgeon Gen. Jerome Adams said Sunday the U.S. can reverse course on the coronavirus outbreaks, and “turn this thing around in just two to three weeks if everyone does their part.” On CBS “Face the Nation,” Adams said, “While we’re seeing cases rise, we can see cases go down just as quickly if the American people will do the things that we know slow the spread of this disease, including wearing a face covering.”

8:55 a.m. Hacking of hospitals worsens during pandemic: Cyberattacks on hospital records to steal patients’ information for scams is nothing new. But the situation has worsened during the months-long coronavirus pandemic, as more employees switched to working from home, and medical facilities are cash-strapped and stretched thin because of COVID-19, USA Today reports.

8:45 a.m. It’s not so bad in the condo real estate market: Considering that 5 million Californians have filed for unemployment since March, real estate brokers and developers say that condominium sales and interest have held up remarkably well. The pandemic has hit as San Francisco has more new condo buildings opening than any year since the 2007-09 recession.“In terms of the condo market this is much better than 2008 and 2009 was,” one developer said. Read The Chronicle’s story here.

8:30 a.m. H-1B visa holders get slammed in pandemic layoffs: Thousands of international workers on H-1B visas — which allow those with specialized skills to work in the Bay Area’s tech industry — are facing a stark reality of having to find work against the odds of the pandemic’s tight market. With everyone else, they’ve been laid off, but their visas allow them just 60 days to find comparable work or leave the country. Read The Chronicle’s story here.

8:06 a.m. California surpasses 7,000 deaths: The state of California now has seen more than 7,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, with 7,026 people across the nation’s largest state having lost their lives to the persistent infection as of Sunday morning. The Bay Area has accounted for 641 of those fatalities. In all, California has confirmed 319,356 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 34,521 of those in the Bay Area.




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